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Welcome To My Homepage What's New Blog First three chapters of WARD OF THE STATE

WARD OF THE STATE

Hi. I'm Milo Larsen and I just logged in. I haven't visited my website since 7/25/14; abouit six months ago. At that time there had been a total of 4031 visitors to the website. I try to keep accurate records which indicate  that at least two individuals have visited the site every day during the previous years this site has been in existance.

However, this year, only six months later, doing the math, the counter indicates that there are fewer visitors than usual. I would like to hear from some of you who have repeatedly visited my web page. Your comments may help me to decide whether to continue my efforts with my website or to abandone the project totally.

The reason that I acquired and built this website is to promote the book that I wrote and published in 2009. I aquired two other websites also for the same purpose but although my book, which is listed on Amazon.com, has, at this time, received three excellent reviews, very few people have purchased it. So I haven't a clue to what's going on relative to my book and potential readers of that book.

In order to get more coverage for my book I put a copy of the cover and a description of the story on a website named Good Reads and in April, 2013, I received an unsolicited book review from Erica Lovett. Her review is as follows: 

Erica Lovett‘s review

Apr 21, 13

Rating is 5 of 5 stars

Read in April, 2013

“Ward of the State” is an engrossing novel that starts in the 1940s, focusing on young Tom Packard, who is twelve when the novel begins. He’s already had a difficult life—his mother is dead, and he lives with his aunt—and when he returns from the library one day to find her lying dead in her bed, he becomes a ward of the state and is taken to a reform school, despite the fact that he’s not done anything to be considered a delinquent.

Though he’s told his father is dead, Tom doesn’t believe it, and he holds on to that belief despite the hardships of the reform school—the abusive placements he suffers to help Mrs. Fogarty and her “projects,” the bullying Mr. Landry, and the deceptive Mr. Hutchins. Along the way he meets a few kind souls, and while his experiences could push him into becoming a true delinquent, he instead maintains his character and dignity, fighting when he has to and standing strong when he does not.

This novel did an excellent job of evoking the feel of a reform school in the era, with a colorful range of Dickens-esque characters and a likeable main character who the reader becomes very engaged in. I wanted Tom to find happiness and discover if his father was alive; his refusal to be defeated by his circumstances made him a compelling character, especially in light of what he discovers about his mother and her character.

I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy historical novels, readers who enjoy Mark Twain (stories about boys overcoming odds through their own strong characters, and learning lessons along the way), and readers who enjoy character-driven novels. 

I'm what they call an independent publisher. I self-published through LULU.COM. I wrote the book without the aid of a bookdoctor and i proofread and edited the book myself and i bought my own ISBN (that's a number that identifies the book); it's similar to  the VIN number of an automobile.

That was my only cost. the rest was free. The ISBN number cost me about nintyfive dollars. LULU would have supplied it to me free, but then they would be the publisher that means that LULU would be the only company from whom the book could be purchased. That is to say: Amazon will list and sell a person a copy of the book but Amazon has to buy the copy from LULU, so that means I might not be able to make a kindle book which I've been considering. It's complicated to describe, so I'll think about this and try to come up with a more satisfactory descriptionor explanation.

There is a stigma attached to self-publication. Most people think that a book that has been self published is inferior and I will write about that experience at a later date.

 

Details of the Novel

The story is about a kid who grows up being constantly abandoned and rejected by his significant others. He is first abandoned by his father; then when his mother is murdered; then when his grandfather refuses to take him in; then when his aunt, who does take him in, dies; then by his grandfather a second time; and finally by the state orphanage. Finally he is swallowed up by the child welfare bureaucracy, and he is deposited in the state reform school, and when he protests, the school counselor tells him, “When you are a ward of the state, the state makes decisions for you.” Fortunately the kid has good attitudes that will help him survive this ordeal.

The story, which is set in Montana in the 1940s, cannot be pigeon-holed into any one genre. It contains a little adventure, some violence, some criminal activity (graft and auto theft), and a little humor. Some of the characters use offensive and provocative language, and there are some sexual scenes in the story, so although the story is about a young man growing up, the story might not be recommended for children. Also there is a somewhat anti-religious tone in some areas of the book which may offend some religious people.

For those who have further interest, I have included the first three chapters of the story on this site.

To see how WARD OF THE STATE begins click on the 'First three chapters of WARD OF THE STATE' link at the upper lefthand side of this page.

Any interested reader can find my book on lulu.com or by clicking on http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/ward-of-the-state/6438209#

or at, Http://www.amazon.com/books

or by going to the Barnes and Noble book store or website

 Incidentally, if you feel particularly lucky, check out my other website at http://sites.google.com/site/theknightphaethon

Another website I had was at webpress, but now it no longer exists.

Peace be with all of you during these difficult times

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